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Welcome Outside: Joburg parks open for exercise
13 July 2020

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo will ensure that parks are opened by Wednesday, to allow residents to keep fit and healthy, by exercising in close proximity to their homes. 

Nature reserves, including The Wilds, Kloofendal and Klipriversberg nature reserves and the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens will be opened from 1 August, to allow for a phased-in approach, due to limited resources.

Park users are urged to be cautious and vigilant at all times by adhering to the following 10 mandatory requirements:
1. Wear a mask in public spaces at all times.
2. Practice social distancing.
3. Events or gatherings are restricted
4. Ensure that hands are washed and sanitized prior to entering a city parks facility.
5. Exercise only with persons within your household which is limited to a maximum of 5 people in a group.
6. Refrain from using the ablution facilities and the playgrounds.
7. Remind children that the use of the gym and play-equipment is restricted.
8. Take all disposables home, including empty bottles and paper cups.
9. Leave all valuables at home to avoid opportunistic crime.
10. Abide by the public opens spaces bylaws in place.

Councillor Margaret Arnolds, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development in the City of Joburg, welcomed the announcement by President Ramaphosa. Arnolds however cautioned residents that the onus to prevent the spread of the virus remained in the hands of every user. “Common sense must prevail. If you are feeling unwell; self-isolating or if too many park-users, then protect your loved ones by staying safely at home,” she urged.

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, as well, has been affected by Covid-19 infections which resulted in various depots being temporary closed to enable operational and security staff to self-isolate.

This delayed opening of conservation areas and nature reserves is due to scarce resources and the need for employees to be issued with proper personnel protection.
Park-users are urged to carry their personnel sanitizer and to refrain from sitting on the benches, utilizing the gym-equipment and ablution facilities or depositing refuse in the bins.

Arnolds appealed to residents for compliance and support, stating that, “The Presidency has heard your call to open-up parks, particularly to residents who do not have access to space to exercise. The responsibility therefore to exercise with caution, lies in the hands of every individual.”

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